A few small windows this week as E swell fades out, with chunky Tradewind swell on the radar from this weekend

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 17th Oct)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Last pulse of E swell Tues, easing through Wed with generally light onshore winds
  • Small S swell pulses Wed-Fri showing at NENSW S facing beaches
  • Another round of NE windswell, favouring the Mid North Coast from Fri, extends into the weekend
  • Punchy E’ly tradewind swell forms over the weekend and extends into mid next week


Great waves over the weekend, if you had a piece of sand that could handle the long lines of straight E swell.  Sat saw clean 4-5ft sets across most of the region with quality diminishing as SE winds kicked up, although they laid down late in the day. Sunday still had 4ft sets with light winds most of the day. Today has eased further with inconsistent 2-3ft surf (mostly 2ft) and a light onshore flow, now tending NE. 

Clean lines on the beachies this morning

This week (Oct 17-21)

As mentioned last week we have a weak, troughy pattern in the Tasman with a broad area of high pressure now moving over the area and yet another complex low pressure system moving East across inland Australia. A series of fronts are rapidly transiting across the Lower Tasman with some small S swell pulses en route. A last pulse of E swell generated in the South Pacific is due this week. The end of the week will see another round of  NE windswell develop, likely persisting over the weekend and into next week and blending with a developing Tradewind swell.

In the short run and a light onshore pattern through tomorrow will maintain OK surface conditions. A last pulse of  E swell generated by a fast moving low which briefly re-energised the E’ly fetch north of the North Island should supply inconsistent mid period sets to 3ft through tomorrow with winds tending more NE through the a’noon.

Some long period S swell trains should supply some flukey 2ft sets at known S swell magnets in NENSW.

Wed will really see the last dregs of the E swell, with 2-3ft sets easing right back through the day. A trough in Southern NSW is likely to disrupt the local wind flow, leading to light winds, tending to NE seabreezes. Nothing amazing Wed but there should be a few small beachies on offer before SE winds kick in.

Small surf continues into Thurs, mostly flukey S swell trains from then passing fronts with sets to 2ft at S facing beaches. Early light winds should be offshore before light N to NE breezes kick in, stronger on the Mid North Coast.

By the close of the working week we’ll start to see a stronger NE pattern develop as the inland low approaches and a stronger high moves into the Tasman. That will see fresh N to NE winds develop across the region and a building trend in NE windswell as a proximate fetch to the NSW Coast extends and strengthens. Expect size to push up into the 2-3ft range through the a’noon, with another pulse of long period S swell producing some larger 2-3ft sets at S facing beaches through the a’noon in NENSW. It’ll be backbeaches only though if you are hunting any kind of quality.

This weekend (Oct 22-23)

Winds look a little tricky this week although North to North-east winds are possible both days as the synoptic pattern becomes slow moving. The inland low and the high in the Tasman both in no hurry to move. There is a possible curve ball Sun as a small surface low may form in the Coral Sea around a trough line, bringing S to SE winds. At the moment, GFS is more interested than EC, so check back Wed for the latest update.

The fetch off the coast does look to weaken and contract a little Sat which should see a morning peak in size before an easing trend in NE windswell - likely in the 3-4ft range with some bigger sets. Through the a’noon, we should see building E to E/NE tradewind swell as winds thicken up in the Coral Sea (see below) and surf in the 3ft range builds.

More of the same Sun with the tradewind fetch looking to re-strengthen a notch and thus seeing surf solidify back into the 4ft range. 

We’ll finesse size and timing through the week but pencil in plenty of E/NE trade-swell. 

Next week (Oct 24 onwards)

A healthy trade-wind flow extending from New Caledonia back into the Coral Sea and South Pacific bring plenty of E’ly energy through  at least the first half of next week.

Expect size in the 4ft range likely holding Mon-Wed, before the tradewind fetch contracts E’wards. Winds still look tricky to call with a possibility of a trough/surace low forming off the SEQLD coast dragging offshore winds from the outflow Mon/Tues. Light NE winds are also on the cards.

The interior low from this week is expected to exit the coast over the weekend. We’ll be looking at the low as it sits off the Gippsland Coast or SE of Tas for potential SE swell late next week. Models are offering divergent outcomes but it does have some surf potential. 

Models are also toying with low pressure development near Fiji from mid next week although high pressure support seems a bit thin, reducing surf potential.

Check back Wed and we’ll see how that is shaping up.


burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Monday, 17 Oct 2022 at 6:06pm

Waves for days and days. Not an epic forecast but for Mid October it’s a solid 8/10.

Dannon's picture
Dannon's picture
Dannon Monday, 17 Oct 2022 at 6:49pm

Coral cum slicks.
Big bait balls.
Birds going ape shit.
Sharks in angry mode.
Lots of wild life
On sunny coast beaches today.

And fucking pumping at Noosa :-
'eh Boogie.F

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 17 Oct 2022 at 7:46pm

Sounds appealing to me.

Dannon's picture
Dannon's picture
Dannon Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 5:05am

Lit a fire in my loins,

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 6:35am

Amazing swell for Oct. Was surprised at how big Fri was. Winds been a bit average. As usual Noosa was the pick..

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 6:47am

Looks like next week's trade swell will get an upgrade size wise.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 9:52am


donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 2:24pm

Swell looks good but Fck me local winds look woeful.
We need that inland trough/low to push eastwards rather than southwards.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 2:33pm

That's what you said for the last swell too Donny. just be grateful for swell.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Tuesday, 18 Oct 2022 at 2:31pm

Non-stop Nlies, not much to get excited about.
A cold (yet wet) winter and howling spring northerlies, neither of which we got last year.
Perhaps a return to some semblance of normalcy. Bring on Boxing Day.

Fresh55's picture
Fresh55's picture
Fresh55 Wednesday, 19 Oct 2022 at 1:51pm

Weekend going to be wild

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Wednesday, 19 Oct 2022 at 2:13pm

Wet and wild.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 19 Oct 2022 at 2:18pm

Come on Don, admit it, this is pretty juicy for October!

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 19 Oct 2022 at 2:51pm

I love how the observed surf reports at Coffs and Port are both done by the same bloke. He must burn some fuel! Pretty impressive the way he posts on the ground reports for both within a few minutes of sunrise. Not a bad effort considering they’re over an hour and a half drive apart. Superman!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Wednesday, 19 Oct 2022 at 9:50pm

Driving distance Port to Coffs is apparently 153km... if he has a trained Peregrine Falcon with a camera mounted on it (max diving speed 389km/h) it is possible he can see both places within 23 minutes, perhaps a bit quicker as the crow flies. Not impossible.